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Economic Aspects | Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects | Barbados

NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN BARBADOS

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is responsible for this sector.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

A National Consultation on Agriculture was convened in 1998. The outputs from this forum are being incorporated into a formal report to be completed by October 1999. The report in part will issue recommendations on the restructuring of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The following legislation is relevant:

Cap. 347 Factories Act, 1984;

Cap 355 Registered Sugar Factories Smoke Control, 1962;

Cap 395 Pesticides Control, 1974;

Cap 396 Soil Conservation, 1959;

Cap 397 Trees (Preservation), 1981;

Cap. 398 Wild Birds Protection, 1907 (to be amended);

Cap. 390 Cultivation of Trees, 1951;

Cap. 391 Fisheries Regulation, 1904 (amended 1993);

Cap. 252 Agricultural Aid;

Cap. 253 Animals (Diseases and Importation);

Cap. 260 Dairy Industry (Regulation and Control);

Cap. 261 Fertilizers and Feeding Stuffs;

Cap. 263 Irrigation;

Cap. 264 Love Vine and Wild Native Cotton (Eradication);

Cap. 266 Plant Pest and Diseases (Importation).

Apart from Cap. 391, legislation has not been amended recently.

While there are no expressed provisions in law to prohibit the transfer of productive arable land, one of the objectives of the national land use policy is to ensure the availability of a prescribed area of arable agricultural land. This policy is enforced by the Town and Country Planning Department which is responsible for granting permission for change of use, for example from agricultural to housing, industrial or other uses.

In support of the use solar technology island wide, Government provides a tax rebate for the purchase and installation of solar water heaters.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Barbados has not established a national strategy or policy on sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD).

An Area Development Plan has been developed for Barbados which stipulates appropriate land use options for various parts of the island. The Area Development Plan includes specifically agricultural development areas, rural development areas, soil classification, data base development, storage and management, policy reforms and rural planning policies. It is envisaged that the recommendations of the Area Development Plan will be integrated into the overarching document, which guides national planning and development, the Physical Development Plan.

This issue of pesticides is currently being explored in some detail. The Pesticide Control Board is currently responsible for monitoring and managing the importation of pesticides used in agriculture. It has been recognized that the system currently in use needs to be upgraded in order to deal effectively with evolving issues including:

Collaboration is ongoing between the relevant agencies, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Pesticide Control Board and the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources, towards finding a suitable and timely solution to these pressing issues.

Integrated Pest Management is articulated as a long-term objective of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Agricultural Sector Plan. Achievements at the field level include research and development.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development encourages farmers to use soil sampling and analysis to guide fertilizer applications. Organic farming and the use of organic manure is promoted. Integrated Pest Management is encouraged to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Research by the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute assists in this initiative.

The Agricultural Sector Plan (1993 - 2000) stipulates that the establishment of irrigation schemes for agricultural purposes should be approached bearing in mind the scarcity of fresh water resources in Barbados. Drip irrigation is promoted over sprinkler systems and greater use of mulching is promoted to help reduce agricultural water use.

Energy-substitution strategies to reduce CO2 emissions have not been implemented on a national basis.

A Rural Development Programme has been developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The following activities are planned:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

National consultations, committee meetings, community group meetings as well as small and specific consultations convened by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development are mechanisms which promote the integration of stakeholder concerns into the decision making process with regards to agricultural development.

A Rural Development Commission has been established which has among its priorities, the funding of commercial enterprises in rural areas. This includes all types of self-employed businesses that may be ongoing or new initiatives. Government in the mid 1990's enacted special Development areas legislation to establish certain enterprise zones within the rural areas to encourage investment and development.

Women have been involved in addressing rural welfare. Women and Youth have been involved in food security issues, enhancing self-reliance of farmers, and in integrated pest management. Local communities, small farmers and landless people also participate in these activities.

Major Groups are involved in the following:

Local communities are involved in the establishment of national and local agricultural planning bodies and in drawing up land reclamation policies for degraded land.

Programmes and Projects   

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development generated the Agricultural Sector Plan (1993 - 2000), which states that Integrated Pest Management is one long-term objective for that sector. Research in this regard takes place at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Tissue Culture Lab, the Caribbean Agricultural Research Institute (CARDI) and the University of the West Indies, Biology Department. Biological pest control options have been developed for the Pink Mealy Bug, which affects the cotton plant. Research has also focused on biological control options for diseases affecting the sugar cane plant.

Genetic research is ongoing on the Black Belly Sheep, which demonstrates a unique ability to thrive under specific Barbadian conditions of climate, fodder available and so on. The Black Belly Sheep also demonstrates the positive traits of high fecundity and high growth rates. The good quality of meat generated from these animals makes them promising for potential commercial raising.

The issues of land degradation and rehabilitation are most prominent in the Scotland District. There is a Soil Conservation Unit within the Scotland District Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, which performs work specifically to reduce soil erosion and improve the sustainable productivity of the area. Programmes include revegetation of slopes with grass and fruit trees, low intensity grazing and the use of gabions, public awareness and education, extension services, etc.

Government subsidies are available to promote orchard development. This was originally intended to promote soil conservation in an erosion prone part of the island but the subsidy may become available in other areas to promote crop diversification. Government through an Integrated Rural Development Programme, does offer an irrigation subsidy to farmers at differential rates. There is no differentiated tax system.

There is a rigorous process in place for the change of use of agricultural land to other uses. The Chief Town Planner is mandated to consult with the Chief Agricultural Officer, and because of its national significance there is a call-in process whereby the Minister of Planning makes the final decision in respect of these proposals.

Barbados does not have a major occurrence of undernourished people. However non-profit organizations such as the Red Cross conduct "Meals on Wheels" programme to provide daily meals to homeless people living in the capital Bridgetown and to the elderly poor.

Status

Electrical power is available island wide. Solar power is used by approximately 30 000 of a possible 100 000 (approximate) households. Photovoltaics is currently used for demonstration purposes and at a major tourist attraction, Harrison’s Cave for lighting and battery charging purposes.

Biomass energy is utilized in the sugar cane industry. Cane trash from fields and crushed cane fibres from the sugar production process, are used for fuel generation. The fuel generated contributes to powering the sugar cane factories themselves and any excess is channeled to the national grid. Quantities for the latter are unknown.

Challenges

Major problems faced in implementing conservation and rehabilitation of degraded lands include lack of personnel and small budget allocation.

Capacity-Building, Education, Training and Awareness-Raising

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development manages an agricultural extension services programme to provide agricultural services and training to small farmers. The Rural Development Commission also facilitates some programmes. In the year 2000 the Government of Barbados intends to establish an Agricultural Development Trust to provide consessional financing and support to commercial agriculture ventures.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development continues to utilize press media, television and radio programmes for public awareness and information purposes.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has a programme through which extension officers work with small and NGOs providing technical information and training.

No research or remedial measures have been undertaken to determine or reduce the effects of UV radiation on plants and animals. Public awareness and educational programmes have however focussed on the:

Information

Research and Development programmes and Farming Systems Research are active work programmes of the Agronomy Unit.

Research is the main area of activity in plant genetic resources (PGR) The Slope Stabilization Programme of the Soil Conservation Unit promotes the use of indigenous species.

Early warning and monitoring of food supply and those factors affecting household demand for food is carried out through collaborative action between the Government Statistical Department and the Agricultural Economic Planning Unit.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development would be the main source of information on sustainable agriculture. No web site exists but one is being developed at this time.

A National Indicators Programme is currently being developed as part of Barbados’ participation in the UN Indicators for Sustainable Development Testing Programme. The initial composite list of potential national indicators still needs to undergo refinement by the national committee mandated to address this issue. For the Agricultural Sector, production information is collected bi-monthly.

Research and Technologies

Research and development in solar technology is ongoing at the University of the West Indies, Centre for Environmental Resources Management Studies (CERMES). Solar ovens and driers for food preservation have also been produced. The latter are used commercially while the ovens are still used for demonstrations only.

Photovoltaic technology has been developed by CERMES and is currently in use at a couple of sites. A demonstration project has been initiated at one secondary school for the use of photovoltaic power for the computer lab.

It is expected that the above-mentioned pilot project will be expanded for the specific school, and eventually to other schools. Another project currently awaiting funding aims to use photovoltaic power to make ice at fish markets. These markets are located at various rural locations around the island and some problems have been encountered such as the reliable and adequate supply of ice.

Financing

National funding has been secured for most of the above activities.

Cooperation

The country cooperates in agriculture with FAO, UNDP, European Union and with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA). These organizations have participated in the review of national strategies, but have not provided additional financial or human resource after UNCED. The European Development Foundation provided a training course; FAO and UNDP support a tissue culture laboratory.

 

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This information was provided by the government of Barbados to the 5th and 8th sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: February 2000.

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ATMOSPHERE

The Montreal Protocol (1987), the London Amendment (1990), and the Copenhagen Amendment (1992) were signed in 1992. The latest reports to the Montreal Protocol Secretariat were prepared in 1996. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed in 1993.

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Health and Environment (Environment Division) is primarily responsible for the protection of the atmosphere and is a full-fledged member of the National Coordination Mechanism for Sustainable Development. The national legislation to protect the atmosphere has not yet been reviewed or revised in the light of Agenda 21. NGOs, private sector and other major groups in Barbados implement climate change activities promoting sustainable development and preventing stratospheric ozone depletion.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government promotes policies and programmes in energy efficiency, environmentally sound and efficient transportation, industrial pollution control, sound land-use practices and sound management of marine resources, among others. No significant studies have been undertaken by the Government, the scientific community or the NGOs on the health effects resulting from air pollution or ozone layer depletion.

Barbados does participate actively in strengthening the Global Climate Observing System. High priority is given to the use of safe technologies in industry, research and development relevant to power and transport, to awareness raising in the area of energy and fuel efficiency, including product labeling, and to the use of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) within the energy production sector. Barbados has undertaken a review of its current energy supply mix and has been actively involved in the R&D of biomass, biogas, solar- and wind-generated electrical systems and other appropriate renewable sources of energy.

There is a national goal to phase out CFCs and other ozone depleting substances by the year 2005. In 1995, the Government received US$eq. 136,000 support through the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund. Transboundary air pollution is a national issue under review. Since 1992, there has been progress in introducing unleaded gas for vehicles, and there is a programme for the phase-out of the use of leaded gasoline by the year 2004. The Government supports the conservation and enhancement of sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases, including biomass, forests and oceans, as well as other terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems. It has identified both marine and terrestrial areas as Reserves. Additionally, as an island of 430km2, largely unexploited, Barbados makes a comparatively significant contribution as a territorial sink for greenhouse gases.

In the area of transboundary atmospheric pollution control the Government has not provided or facilitated training opportunities. The Government encourages industry to develop safe technologies. The Barbados National Standards Institute (BNSI), which is responsible for standards, and the Risk Analysis & Monitoring Committee for Industrial Development (RAMCID), acts as a monitoring agency for industrial estates.

The Government has not acceded to any regional, multilateral or bilateral agreements regarding transboundary air pollution; however, this is under review. Barbados participates in the UN bodies to implement the following climate change activities: scientific basis for decision-making, promoting sustainable development, and preventing stratospheric ozone depletion. The Caribbean Ozone Officers Network which will seek to assist in the phase-out of ODS will be meeting in the first half of 1997 in Barbados.

The main concerns regarding climate change and sea level rise have to do with how the latter could impact upon the economic fabric (tourism) as well as the daily lives of citizens considering that the entire country is basically a coastal entity. There is no recorded data indicating encroachment of sea on land to date, however, there are storm surges associated with the passage of hurricanes in the region. In addition, there are particular areas of land in the north east of the island which are prone to landslides. It is expected that sea level rise due to climate change could exacerbate these conditions.

There is presently a two pronged approach to national adaptation to climate change.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

 

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This information is based on Barbados's submission to the 5th & 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997 & 1998. Last update: 10 June 1998

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BIODIVERSITY

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed in 1992 and ratified in December 1993. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was acceded to in December 1992

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Environment Division, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources is responsible for the issue of biodiversity. Currently, there is a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan in progress. In addition, the Biodiversity Work programme of the Environment Division addresses the following areas:

Legislation is also currently being developed with respect to:

Among the Major Groups, NGOs, Business and Industry, Scientific and Technological Community and Farmers are involved in biodiversity management through their presence on policy advisory, decision making and implementation committees. The participation by community groups for the protection and conservation of biological diversity is encouraged through programmes currently being developed to involve communities in land stewardship and species data collection and species management under a number of programmes initiated by the Environment Division, Fisheries Division, Ministry of Tourism and the University of the West Indies. Examples include:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

The main issues relating to biodiversity management in Barbados include:

Most Biological resources remain stressed due to the historic development of the island. In recent years many positive steps have been taken to address issues of Conservation and Preservation. Major projects and activities underway or planned to address these issues include:

Challenges  

Priority constraints to implementing effective programmes to address the issues raised in this programme area include human resources, equipment and other capacity constraints, and a lack of training programmes.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Programmes to educate policy makers in the concept and design of policies related to biodiversity resources include Workshops and Steering Committee deliberations, which often result in increased awareness in policy matters on the concept of biodiversity resources management. Additionally, ad hoc training opportunities may be transmitted to the Division or the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Other training is available either through national programming or programmes through overseas organisations.

For each of the projects listed above, under "Status," there is an education and public awareness component attached. In addition the Environment Division is responsible for Public Awareness and education with respect to bio-diversity in Barbados.

Information   

National information available to assist both decision-makers and planners working in areas related to biodiversity resources include a database of species recorded in Barbados, currently under development. In addition, Species Management Plans have been developed for specific species.

Information is accessible through a documentation centre and library services. A Web Page is under development

Barbados is part of the UN Testing Programme on Sustainable Development Indicators. Further to that, Barbados has developed a National Indicators Programme (NIP) which seeks to define national indicators for all policy areas, including biodiversity. Presently, the programme has reached the data collection stage in terms of trying to discover the level of existing available information and formats.

Research and Technologies  

No information on presently available. For any such situations which may arise, choices/decisions about technology are made on a case-by-case basis. Criteria would generally include:

Financing  

The National budget, external assistance, and private sector partnerships are all ways in which activities/programmes in this sector are financed. International assistance is provided through grants and technical assistance.

Cooperation  

Barbados is a Party to the following biodiversity-related agreements:

Other related agreements to which Barbados is a Party include:

Regional activities will largely be heavily based on the international conventions etc. Some regional programmes such as Caribbean Environmental Programme have mushroomed from the international processes.

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This information was provided by the Government of Barbados to the fifth, sixth and seventh sessions of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: February 1999.

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

Barbados is presently reviewing the International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa with a view to signing the Convention at the Conference of Parties later in 1997.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.


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This information is based on Barbados's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Energy Division, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources is responsible for decision-making in this area. The national policy for energy in Barbados is geared toward:

Major programmes in the field of energy and sustainable development include:

* University of the West Indies (Barbados)

There are currently legislative proposals to deal with proper disposal of oil wastes, storage of products and remediation of vacated sites.

Among the Major Groups, the following are regularly involved in energy management in Barbados:-

Additionally, government solicits involvement of industry before implementing new proposals.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

The resources in the area of solar and wind are plentiful and, if fully used, can meet energy needs. There is a high potential for increase in the areas of wind energy, solar energy and bio-fuels.However, all the technology needed is not presently available.

The proportion of commercial energy needs that is met from imports.

Major projects and activities in this area include the following:

Challenges  

Priority constraints to implementing effective programmes to address the issues raised in this programmes area are programmes involving oil exploration to increase oil and gas reserves to meet the country's energy needs beyond the year 2000.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No specific programmes presently exist. However, media such as workshops and national consultations serve to educate both policy makers and the general public. Energy Audit Training is provided to assist planners and industries in managing sustainable development and energy.

Campaigns and other efforts to raise awareness of issues related to sustainable development and energy include:

Information   

National information available to assist both decision-makers and planners working in sustainable development and energy resources is being provided through the development of a Reference Energy System for Governments (energy models) by the Caribbean Energy Information System (CEIS). The data captured relates to petroleum production, supply, import, transformation, consumption, economic/financial, social/demographic and technical activities. The information is made available through publications. There is no website at the moment.

With respect to indicators, Percentage of Renewable Energy of total energy used and Energy produced per GDP are being calculated as data are obtained. Through the Steering Committee so designated under the NCSD, significant work is being undertaken to develop Sustainable Development Indicators. Under the umbrella of the National Indicators Programme (NIP), indicators for energy resources and their sustainable management will be addressed.

Research and Technologies  

Issues related to the development, transfer and use of environmentally-sound technologies in this programme area include:

Some technologies have a very high capital cost. e.g. solar photovoltaic, which makes the development less feasible. Solar thermal technologies (Solar heating), results in a shorter payback to the consumer. The cost of energy needs would not be reduced significantly.

Decisions related to the choice of technologies are based on the following:

Financing  

This sector is financed through the National Budget and Private Sector Partnership. Assistance is also provided by the following:

Cooperation 

See under Financing

Barbados is a Member of the following international and regional agreements:

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Barbados to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development at its seventh session. Last update: January 1999.

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

The Town and Country Planning Office employs a cross-sectoral review process for planning application appraisal. Input from the Soil Conservation Unit, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Environment is sought by that office when considering applications with implications for forested areas.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

Legislation exists to protect trees and forested areas

The Physical Development Plan is administered by the Town and Country Planning Office and guides all land uses. In appraising planning/development applications that office ensures that existing legislation with regard to forest management/ trees preservation is upheld. Town and Country Planning Office administers the Tree Preservation Act, which requires that planning permission be given before trees of specified dimensions are cut down.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies, and Plans

The Soil Conservation Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, is responsible for combating deforestation and land degradation in the Scotland District an area that comprises approximately 17% of the land area in Barbados. During the last two decades the Soil Conversation Unit has reduced soil erosion and land slippage on steep slopes of the Scotland District by the re-afforestation of extensive areas. Deforestation and the felling of trees outside of the Scotland District are controlled by the Trees (Preservation) Act 1981. Re-afforestation is encouraged and promoted through the Cultivation of Trees Act 1951.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

Individual landowners who retain trees on private land over a certain area are given a tax rebate to promote tree preservation.

NGOs, schools and community groups are actively involved in tree planting projects.

Programmes and Projects   

No national forest programme exists per se but ongoing programmes include: forest enrichment; urban forestation and roadside planting.

Reforestation programmes are conducted, usually with private sector sponsorship and involvement by NGOs and Community Groups.

There is soil erosion and land degradation as a result of deforestation in the Scotland District. Fruit trees are planted to combat this. Beautify Barbados Project initiated in 1999, a large component of which involves revegetation of various areas.

An initiative at Joes River Forest on the East Coast of the island involved enrichment planting with potentially commercial tree species such as mahogany, Cassuarina and cedar. The small size of this area prevents economically viable harvesting of these species. Teaching and research expeditions are conducted in this area with established trails for Nature Walks and Recreation.

Status

Barbados has only a few very small remaining areas of indigenous forests. One is a protected area and the others occur within steep gullies and water-courses around the island.

Deforestation for commercial exploitation does not occur in Barbados due to the very limited supply of suitable resource and the subsequently uneconomical nature of such activities.

The terrain of Barbados rises in terraces, with the lowest at sea level and the highest at the central interior. One of the islands more outstanding topographic features is the Hackleton Cliff in St. Joseph where a narrow band of white cedar and balsam extend for several miles.

Only a very small component of the total area of the country actually contains forest. Pre-colonial virgin forest does exist in an area called Turners Hall Wood and within the steeper and deeper gullies that criss-cross the island.

Wetland and Mangrove Vegetation is found at Graeme Hall, Christ Church, but pockets of mangrove also occur along the leeward coastline. Three species of mangrove are present in Barbados.

It is interesting to note that areas of plantation land traditionally under sugar cultivation become invaded by secondary forest growth when that land is abandoned due to the decline of the sugar industry.

Challenges

Since the removal of nearly all forest cover in Barbados during the period of settlement after 1627, soil erosion has remained one of the major environmental problems on the island. In particular, lands within the Scotland District are at risk due to severe erosion associated with high rainfall and steep topography. Through the National Forestry Action Plan, Barbados reports a total of 5,070 hectares of wooded areas. This figure represents lest than 2% of the Island's land area, the majority of which is located within the Scotland District or the proposed area of the National Park. Must of this forest cover is secondary forest since little remnant natural forest exists apart from Turners Hall Woods, which stands on approximately 20 hectares. Coastal mangrove swamps, once abundant, has been largely destroyed due to coastal development. The largest remaining mangrove area is located at Graeme Hall Swamp where a significant number of red mangrove and while mangrove are still in existence.

Specific legislation is being considered as an additional instrument to control the removal and destruction of any of this vegetation.

Capacity-Building, Education, Training and Awareness-Raising

At the local level, various public awareness activities and events provide information eg. for National Arbor Day.

Information

Monitoring of forest area is carried out only indirectly through Town and Country Planning records of tree areas destroyed for development and or additions to forested areas by programmes mentioned above.

No web site exists.

Research and Technologies

On a very small-scale wooden furniture, card board boxes and other paper products are recycled.

Financing  

No information is available

Cooperation

Barbados has not participated in the IPF process.

 

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This information was provided by the government of Barbados to the 5th and 8th sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: February 2000.



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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is a statutory corporation which is responsible for the management and control of water resources. It is responsible for managing, allocating and monitoring the water resources of Barbados with a view to ensuring their best development, utilisation, conservation and protection in the public interest. It is also responsible for the designing, construction, acquisition, provision, operation and maintenance of water and sewerage works for the purpose of supplying water for public purposes and the receiving, treating and disposing of sewage, respectively.

The process of policy formulation is generally conducted through the work of a committee of experts and stakeholders. This is a fairly recent initiative aimed at involving all major stakeholders in the decision-making process. As an example of this type of procedures, on July 5, 1997 a public consultation was held on Water Resources Management and Policy Development through collaborative efforts between the Barbados Water Authority and the Environment Division. The BWA also actively participates in the work of the National Commission on Sustainable Development with information on water resources and recommendations for conservation activities being provided by the BWA. There is also an appeals process under the existing BWA Act for conflict resolution. Major Groups are further involved in decision-making generally through presentations at workshops at which the general public and specific stakeholders are invited to attend and voice their opinions. Other media such as town meetings are utilised.

The latest National Strategy and Policies are contained in A Draft Policy Framework for Water Resources Development and Management in Barbados document. The policy for integrated land and water management and development is contained in the draft policy noted above and in the Environmental Management and Land Use Planning for Sustainable Development Project Plans currently being finalised under the Ministry of Environment. The policy for disaster preparedness, particularly with respect to floods and droughts, in contained in, A Drought/Emergency Management Plan .

The pricing policy is informed by the desire to recover as much as possible operating costs, through metering and charges for water consumption. Full cost recovery may not be possible.

Policies and Legislation for Ground water Development and Management: A substantial body of applicable laws and policies exists to address ground water development and management in Barbados. However, the Government of Barbados has not formally adopted a policy pertaining to public and private ground water rights and recourse has had to be sought from the English Common Law when these issues have arisen.

The following Acts and Policies are applicable:

This is an Act to make provision for the control and use of underground sources of water supply in the island and other matters connected therewith. The Act provided for the establishment of a Water Board with powers to control and regulate the development and use of the ground water resources, through licensing and provision of necessary regulations. This includes control of abandonment of wells which, however, has not been fully exercised.

This is a far-sighted policy adopted by Cabinet as Government Policy in 1963 and revised by the Cabinet in 1973, to provide for the protection of the ground water by sub-dividing the island into five zones prohibiting harmful land uses, with the highest degree of protection in the Zone 1 areas which are closest to the public supply wells. See Table 4 for a summary of the conditions applicable to each Zone. The prohibition of the new development in Zone 1, has been incorporated in the Development Order under the Town and Country Planning Act.

This is an Act to provide for the establishment of the Barbados Water Authority, a statutory corporation falling under the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Housing.

Apart from the two main spring sources that fall under the Three-Houses and the Porey's Spring Acts, the remainder of the water resources are controlled under this Act. The Act gives power to the Barbados Water Authority to provide water and sewerage services and jurisdiction to make regulations, educate, advise and operate systems to manage, allocate, and monitor the water resources of Barbados with a view to ensuring their best development, utilization, conservation and protection in the public interest. The Act also requires the Authority to obtain and analyse information and maintain records of the total water resources of Barbados as well as conduct research programmes and prepare statistics for its purposes.

The Barbados Water Authority, administered through a Board of Directors, has assumed the authority of the Water Board to license wells under the Underground Water Control Act and provision has been made to extend the provisions of the Act relating to the control of underground water to apply mutatis mutandis to the control of surface waters.

Currently there are no formally adopted standards or guidelines for the water industry in Barbados. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Drinking Water Guidelines, USEPA Regulations of Standards, British Water Industry Standards and the American Water Works Association Standards and Codes of Practice are utilised on a voluntary basis as needed. A committee chaired by the Environmental Engineering Division of the Ministry of Health and the Environment and the Barbados National Standards Institute (BNSI) has been set up and a paper prepared for Cabinet to develop some environmental standards which include water and waste-water standards.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status 

Present water supply is all from ground water and two spring sources. Abstractions are very near to potential ground water field estimates. There is almost ninety-eight percent coverage of potable water supply. Ninety-six percent of the population receives piped water directly to their homes, while the remaining population has access from public sources. The pricing policy (Block tariff structure) is intended to ensure that the basic needs of the poor are met at minimal cost. Currently the Social Welfare Department covers the cost of water bills for the indigent and aged poor.Percentage of urban sewerage presently treated is less than eight percent. All drinking water is treated by disinfection with chlorine gas. There are no targets established for sanitation coverage.

There are three major programmes in this area: (1) Prevention of pollution of freshwater supplies; (2) Water Conservation; and (3) Augmentation of freshwater supplies.

This is coupled with a nationwide water quality monitoring programme which is carried out by the Barbados Water Authority and the Environmental Engineering Division of the Ministry of Health.

Two sewerage projects are currently in progress: one to cover the South Coast and the other the West Coast. The treatment plant for the south coast has been completed and work is in progress for house connections with a completion date of late 1999. The West Coast Sewerage Project is now in the design phase.

A 30,000m3/day Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant, desalinating brackish water is to be constructed with a completion date of August 1999 to supplement the potable water supplies.

Challenges  

Priority constraints to implementing effective programmes to address the issues raised in this programme area include the following:

Other constraints include scarce water resources, numerous competing demands for water use, conflict between domestic and tourism-related demands , educating the public about water scarcity and the need to conserve and affecting attitudinal change, shortage of trained human resource and funding.

Tourism is the major economic industry in Barbados and as such is a major user of fresh water resources. The scare supply of this resource, as well as the great number of competing demands for use, could well be a constraint to future development of the tourism industry especially if the proposed development poses great demands on water resources.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Present capacity to treat or recycle waste water (public sewerage scheme) is limited to the Bridgetown Sewerage Treatment Plant with a capacity of approximately 9000 cubic metres/day. There are about 12 package plants at various hotels. Some are treating the waste water and reusing it for irrigation (i.e. Sam Lords Castle, Almond Village Resorts (formerly Heywoods).

Education of policy makers in the concept and policy design of water resource management is basically achieved through presentations and PRO campaign for the public. No specific programmes are aimed at them as yet except as part of the NCSD policy paper being prepared. Currently training has been achieved through attendance at workshops organised by the Caribbean Basin Water Management Project (CBWMP), the World Bank, Caribbean Science and Technology Association, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Water and Waste-Water Association (CWWA).

Campaigns or other efforts to raise awareness of issues related to sustainable development and freshwater resources has been carried out by the BWA through TV, tours and presentation to various groups and organisations and by the NCSD arranged workshops. A public education campaign has been launched by the BWA which started with the free distribution of low water use shower heads and kitchen faucet Aerators to customer not in arrears (30,000 were distributed). Special Programmes are also in place to work with private sector in the implementation of water conservation projects. Currently the BWA is working with the Ministry of Education on a school project (West Terrace Primary School) where a private sector supplier of low water use fixtures has retrofitted the water fixtures at the school for free and water use is being logged and monitored. The BWA, EED and Ministry of Tourism are also collaborating to implement a Water Conservation and Management Project in the Tourism and Hotel Sector.

Information   

National information available to assist both decision-makers and planners working in the management of freshwater resources related to the following areas includes the following:

Information is available upon request from the Barbados Water Authority. It is currently not accessible through Internet.

Sustainable development indicators related to freshwater resources are currently being developed by the NCSD and the Caribbean Development Bank. Barbados is part of the UN Testing Programme on Sustainable Development Indicators. Further to that, we have developed a National Indicators Programme (NIP) which seeks to define national indicators for all policy areas, including freshwater resources. Presently, the programme has reached the data collection stage in terms of trying to discover the level of existing available information and formats.

Research and Technologies  

Major problems relate to access to information on new developments in technology and exposure to their usage. This is being addressed through attendance at various regional and international workshops, memberships in professional organisations and association, and access to Internet.

Technologies are chosen through review by the technocrats and recommendations made to either acquire samples or visit suppliers for examination of the same.

Standards that are used to measure water quality, including contamination of water by Persistent Organic Pollutants, include the World Health Organization Drinking Water Guidelines, United States of American Environmental Protection Agency Standards (USEPA) and European Community Standards.

The technological needs of Barbados with respect to waste water treatment is up to tertially level treatment technologies; and, with respect to water purification, it is presently limited to filtration and disinfection.

Financing  

This sector is financed mainly through the operating costs of the Barbados Water Authority which are party recovered through charges etc as well as some national budget funds etc as appropriate.

Cooperation  

Barbados is a Member of the Commission of Hydrology of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

 

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This information is based on Barbados' submission to the 5th , 6th and 7th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: January 1999.

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

The Town and Country Planning Office (T&CPO) is responsible for the development and implementation of national policy on land use and physical planning in Barbados.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The main policy document for land use planning is the Physical Development Plan (PDP), which is a document that is grounded in law. The PDP contains specific provisions for physical development, the use of land and natural resources, including heritage resources, and the Barbados National Park. The PDP therefore guides the type of developments that are allowable in different parts of the island.

The T&CPO seeks to ensure compliance with policy for land use and physical development through the development control process. Applications for new developments, as well as changes in existing developments, are submitted to the T&CPO. These applications are evaluated for compliance or non-compliance with national policies and standards, and if deemed necessary are subject to Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) through the oversight of the EIA Panel. The T&CPO has strong powers of regulation and enforcement, with which to ensure compliance with the legislation and policies of the PDP.

With a view to promoting sustainable land use, in 1996 the Environmental Management for Land Use Planning and Sustainable Development Project (EMLUP) was initiated. In 1998 the project issued a reviewed and revised PDP and T&CP Act intended to integrate the concepts of sustainable development into every aspect of land use planning and development in Barbados. The EMLUP project also issued an Environmental and Natural Resources Management Plan, which provides the framework and policies within which the islands environmental and natural resources could be protected, regulated, used and monitored. The Environmental and Natural Resources Management Plan once adopted, would become the (over-arching policy drumming) focal point for environmental and natural resources management. It=s goals and objectives are mirrored in the PDP (1998), amended.

The Cabinet has been apprised of all principle reports and recommendations of the EMLUP. The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources is now actively involved in carrying forward specific recommendations to the institutional changes necessary for implementation of the outcomes of EMLUP.

The above-mentioned EMLUP project has made recommendations for institutional strengthening and restructuring within the Ministry of the Environment and the Town and Country Planning Office (as described above), with a view to improving co-ordination mechanisms for land and land resources management in Barbados. Once these recommendations have been endorsed by government, the restructured Ministry of the Environment will be responsible for:

The revised institutional structure, policies, regulations and legislative instruments targeted for integrated land management include:

The entire project and documents emanating therefrom, aim to improve the co-ordination and management of land and land resources use in Barbados with a view to ensuring sustainable national development.

The revised institutional structure, policies, regulations and legislative instruments allow for objections to planning applications to be considered in the approval process. Town Hall meetings and public consultations are convened with a view to extracting public opinions on land use proposals.

The overriding objective would be the achievement of sustainable national development including:

The strategy/policy reflects an integrated approach addressing: rural development (e.g. rural employment and income generation opportunities, local participation, tenure security etc.); viability of rural areas (e.g. reduced migration to urban areas, preservation of rural landscapes, promotion of eco-tourism in rural areas etc.); environmental aspects (e.g. minimisation of negative environmental impacts of human-induced activities such as unsustainable agriculture practices on marginal lands, regulation of productive lands and urban land use zoning and enhancement of positive impacts such on the environment through better land use and management practices); and social aspects (e.g. increased public awareness/common vision of sustainability issues, promotion of participation of a wide range of stakeholders, improved self-esteem of natural resource users).

Best possible land use and sustainable management of land resources in Barbados is to be encouraged through the use of various market based instruments as proposed in the EMLUP revised Physical Development Plan (1998) and Town and Country Planning Development Act (1998). Legislation and guidelines stipulated within these documents will be the dominant measures in use. Neither financial incentives nor removal of pervasive subsidies have been proposed. Performance bonds have been recommended for the management of quarry sites and coral reefs.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies, and Plans

Biodiversity conservation currently falls under the mandates of the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development=s Plant Quarantine Unit and Veterinary Unit. Barbados is party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species as well as the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Policies, programmes and action plans have been implemented to meet the obligations encompassed within these agreements. Concerns regarding biodiversity conservation are integrated into current land-use planning and land management practices via the inclusion of representatives of the above mentioned departments on the T&CPO=s planning application review panel and EIA Committee as appropriate.

EMLUP (1998) recommended the establishment of a Natural Heritage Unit, which will be mandated to:

Currently fresh water resources are managed by the Barbados Water Authority. The Proposed Environmental Management Act (EMLUP 1998) makes recommendations for a Water Resources Division and the creation of a Water Resources Board. A Water Resources Unit will provide the technical and administrative support that the Board will require to enable it to set policy and carry out its legal mandate in accordance with water resources management plans and policies. The Director of Water Resources, within the proposed Water Resources Division will be directed to establish a water resources management plan, ensure consultation with government agencies, and enforce applicable legislative provisions. It has been proposed that the Water Resources Board be composed of representatives from a wide cross-section of government departments and agencies to ensure an integrated approach to decision making.

Currently all government applications for major proposed development proposals are referred to the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to ensure the availability of water to service the development. All lands in Barbados are classified in accordance with water protection policy. There are 5 Water protection Areas (WPA) with varying degrees of planning controls enforced by the TCPO.

As for plans for expansion of human settlements reviewed with respect to the impacts on farmland, landscape (open space), forest land, wetlands, and biological diversity in coastal areas, all of the factors are taken into consideration when planning applications for the expansion of human settlements and are submitted to the T&CPO for approval. This kind of integrated review is essential in Barbados not least of all because the resource of land space itself is limited. As such, that office consults with other relevant government agencies and departments to ensure that situations of conflict in land use do not occur and/or are resolved efficiently.

Components of Government's poverty eradication policy include the provision of adequate low-income housing. Space requirements for such uses would be determined with the overarching guidance of the PDP. Government has established two commissions, the Urban Development Commission (UDC) and the Rural Development Commission (RDC). Both of these agencies facilitate the improvement in physical conditions of target populations in the urban and rural areas. The programmes are aimed at providing improved amenities such as roads, electricity, water, sanitary facilities, etc.

In order to meet the competing demands for land while ensuring the conservation of land resources, the Government instituted a land use zoning policy with restrictions on use determined by the location of underground water reserves; 45000 acres of Government owned available land is set aside for agricultural use.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

Public participation is recognised as an essential component in the decision-making process on land-use planning and management of land resources in Barbados. The T&CPO has already adopted EMLUP recommendations in this regards by way of the convening of ATown Hall Meetings@ which provide a forum for wider discussion and feedback on development proposals. Currently the existing process allows for limited public involvement in decision-making process.

The Ministry of the Environment facilitated the establishment of the National Commission on Sustainable Development. The Commission relies on the voluntary contributions of a wide range of Barbadian technocrats, professionals and community resource persons from the public/private sectors. It is to advise Government in respect of strategies necessary to enhance, develop and implement approaches to sustainable development in Barbados.

Barbados has no remaining indigenous groups therefore there are no associated issues of land ownership and tenure rights.

The involvement of Major Groups in national decision-making related to land management in Barbados is described in some detail above. Major Groups in Barbados include:

The Government encourages agricultural and small business cooperatives to participate in land management. Under the Land Tenantry Act, plantation tenantry land has been sold to long-term tenants at minimal costs.

Programmes and Projects  

Government, through the Sewerage and Solid Waste Project Unit, is in the process of implementing an integrated National Solid Waste Management Programme. Components of the programme include the construction of a new sanitary landfill, which is near completion. A separate facility exists for the disposal of bulky waste. The national waste management programme will also see the establishment of a storage facility specifically to house hazardous waste prior to export from Barbados.

The Physical Development Plan and Area Development Plan for Barbados were reviewed and revised by the Environmental Management for Land Use Planning and Sustainable Development Project, completed in 1999. Once endorsed the recommendations generated by this project will provided the necessary policy, legislative and institutional frameworks for planning developments and approvals. It is anticipated that the procedural process and legislation for environmental management and sustainable land use planning in Barbados, will be improved to enable more efficient decision-making. It is further expected that new instruments and regulations will make foreign direct investments more environmentally friendly. Proposed amendment of the TCPA Cap 240 to include provisions governing EIA is being pursued.

Status

The main issues of concern relating to land use in Barbados have to do with the following:

Very little research has been dedicated to the anticipated impacts of ENSO on Barbados' land resources. However, preliminary investigations suggest that the island is likely to be subject to increased intensities and total quantities of rainfall. These views have not been reflected in integrated land management planning.

Challenges

As a small island state, land, as well as other natural and environmental resources in Barbados, is in very limited supply. There are many competing demands for the use of land and other resources. Full cost valuations of the use of natural and environmental resources including land have not been developed or used to any great extent for land use planning and policy development. Core concepts and principles of sustainable development are still to be integrated into land use planning and policy development. There exist implications of "smallness" on the island's vulnerability to natural and man-made disasters. Coastal Zone Management issues are magnified due to the smallness of the island and the pressure exerted on the limited natural resources.

Capacity-Building, Education, Training and Awareness-Raising

Barbados promotes public participation for land resources planning and management. Public awareness campaigns are conducted. Improvements are planned to strengthen systems and procedures for the supply of information to the public and interested parties. Institutional strengthening (e.g., training of staff) is occurring.

A public awareness and education programme which is an important component of the overall solid waste project is currently being development. It is aimed in part at informing citizens on ways of reducing their total output of solid waste and adopting more environmentally sound waste management practices.

Information

Information on soil and land is available and is utilised by the Town and Country Planning Office in order to make sound decisions on an integrated approach and sustainable use of land resources. Some information is available in the form of Ordinance Survey Maps which are available form the T&CPO. Data on soil and slope characteristics are available (Vernon and Carrol Study) however the data is very old and should be updated. The recent Agricultural Development Plan (1999) is intended to assist in providing more up-to-date data.

Barbados is the only Small Island Developing State involved in the United Nations sustainable development indicators Testing Programme since 1997. In December Barbados hosted the third international workshop on UN Indicators of Sustainable Development and is in the process of finalizing a national list of indicators. National Indicators for Human Settlement were developed for Habitat II, Istanbul 1996. These indicators are currently being reviewed for Habitat III.

The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources, is in the process of establishing the foundations of a National Sustainable Development Indicators programme. So far a list and database of appropriate indicators has been compiled for potential use in a national monitoring programme. The latter is expected to commence later this year towards the establishment and ongoing revision of sustainable development indicators for Barbados.

No relevant web site currently exists. Otherwise information on integrated land management and sustainable use of land resources can be accessed from the Town and Country Planning Development Office.

Research and Technologies

The EMLUP project involved a comprehensive assessment of land use in Barbados including the use of GIS technology. Maps of land uses have been generated and the relevant information exists on digital databases. It is intended that on-going monitoring and updating of these databases will be undertaken by the Lands and Surveys Departments. Databases and inventories are updated regularly (usually every 3 B 5 years).

Data on biological diversity in Barbados were collected and catalogued by the recently completed National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan Project.

Financing  

No information is available

Cooperation

Barbados cooperates with UNDP (clearing house), UNCHS (Habitat II) and IADB (improvement of planning systems). These organizations have participated in the review of national strategies but have not provided additional financial or human resources after UNCED. Barbados has provided technical expertise in land resource planning and management to the islands of Montserrat and Anguilla.

Currently, solid waste is disposed of in a sanitary landfill while hazardous waste is packaged and exported for overseas disposal. The latter activity is conducted according to the requirements of the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste to which Barbados is a Party.

 

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This information was provided by the government of Barbados to the 5th and 8th sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: February 2000.

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MOUNTAINS

This chapter is not applicable to Barbados as there are no mountain areas on the island.

 

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This information is based on Barbados's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The following are responsible for decision-making with respect to integrated coastal zone management and sustainable development:

Responsible for marine environmental protection, both from land-based activities and from sea-based activities are the following:

Responsible for sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources (both of the high seas and under national jurisdiction) are

To facilitate coordination among all of the responsible organizations, the Coastal Zone Management Act calls for a specific ministerial committee to be comprised of individuals from various organisations, and to be headed by the Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit. Coordination is also facilitated by the Environmental Impact Assessment process and the Town and Country Planning application process.

Involvement of Major Groups in the decision-making process

There are several activities that involve Major Groups, and these include :

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

With respect to integrated coastal zone management and sustainable development, there are several proposed strategies which are interrelated; these include:

With respect to marine environmental protection:

With respect to sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources:

Plans and programmes that have been developed specifically to address the preservation and sustainable use of fragile ecosystems include:

Other programmes and projects that address any or all of the three issues discussed in this Chapter include:

Beach Profiling
Tide monitoring
Current monitoring
Coral Reef disease monitoring programme
Structure inventory monitoring Planning assessment
Coral Monitoring Programme

Including legislation identified above, the following legislation, regulations, and policy instruments are used for integrated coastal zone management and sustainable development, marine environmental protection and sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

The major current uses of the coastal areas in Barbados are the following:

Fishing
Cast net fishing
Seine fishing
Pot fishing
Bottom lining
Market Sites
Beaching and mooring Boats
Boat Building
Jetties, Wharves
Housing
Private cottages and Residences
Government low - income housing
Traditional Villages
Tourism
Hotels
Condominiums
Guest Houses
Speciality Shops
Boutiques
Night Clubs
Other Ancillary Services e.g restaurants, Taxi stands
Recreation
Sport fishing
Sailing
Parasailing
Scuba diving
Snorkelling
Water Skiing
Surfing
Swimming
Sun bathing
Picnicking
Jet Skiing
Marine/Scientific Reserves
Folkestone Underwater Park
Animal Flower Cave
Graeme Hall Swamp
Inch Marlow /Chancery Lane Swamp
Industrial
Rum Refinery
Flour Milling
Cement Manufacturing
Oil Refining
Power Generation
Desalination (proposed)
Transport and Marine Services
Coastal Highways
Port Facilities
Coast Guard Harbour
Waste Disposal
Industrial Effluent
Domestic Sewerage and Treatment
Runoff from Inland Drainage systems
Coastal Defences
Groynes
Gabions
Revetment
Retaining Walls
Local Craft
Shell Collection
Itinerant Vendors( Souvenirs to Tourist)
Other
Small- scale Sand Mining
Public Access

Fishing contributes between 0.9% - 1% to the national economy of Barbados. The fishing industry employs approximately 2000 fishermen and another 4000 persons in spin off activities which include boat builders, market vendors, persons doing repairs to boats, persons selling fishing gear, etc.

There are several initiatives to encourage the sustainable development and conservation of marine living resources. These include:

Anchoring Shipping impacts on the sustainable management of coastal zones in a variety of ways:

Anchoring
The large anchors that are used by most shipping vessels cause significant damage to the marine ecosystems, especially the coral reefs. Two of these incidents have been reported to the CZMU in the past two years, and it is known that many more such incidents occur, but are unreported. The number of incidents appears to be small, but the quantity of damage is significant. In one case, 5361m2 and in the other 372m2 of coral reef was destroyed. Taking into consideration the importance of the reef systems ,coupled with the knowledge that corals are extremely slow growing animals, and under eutrophic conditions are out-competed by sponges and algae, it can be seen that this is an extremely undesirable situation. There is also the possibility therefore that these reefs might not recover and therefore both present and future benefits could be lost to us.
Ballast Water
Large ships often empty their ballast water at sea which is often contaminated with oil. The oil has deleterious effects on marine fauna.
Garbage
Many large vessels are guilty of disposing of their solid waste at sea, which for the most part washes up on land. Plastics cause the largest problems to marine organisms, but paper, tins, bottles and articles of clothing for example, are not aesthetically pleasing and can also wreak havoc on marine animals. Annual beach clean-ups have been carried out in Barbados since 1996 and the amount of garbage found during these activities has been compiled and documented by the Adopt-Your-Beach Committee.

The illegal construction of buildings and jetties, groynes etc, have contributed to erosional problems on the coast.

Inappropriate disposal of waste, from the heavily populated south and west coasts hotels and other buildings constructed for the purpose of tourism. The practice has greatly contributed to euthrophication of our near shore waters which in turn has resulted in degradation of our coral reefs. Government is presently addressing this through the establishment of a sewerage system on the South and West coasts.

Dive Tourism has been responsible for some of the physical damage to the reef systems. Divers have been guilty of toppling and trampling corals, as well as removing them for souvenirs. Dive boats have carelessly dropped anchors on the reefs and are also guilty of dragging their anchors across these sensitive ecosystems. There is also a specific carrying capacity for each reef system, which has not been determined as yet, but most certainly has been surpassed.

The destruction (by vehicular traffic for example), and removal of coastal vegetation for construction purposes, as well as for "aesthetic" purposes, has resulted in the erosion of sand from beaches. Also it has further resulted in reducing the amount of area suitable for turtle nesting. In other cases, the beach front lighting generally confuses hatchlings, so that they cannot find their way to the water and relative safety. This is a crucial problem as the turtles found around Barbados are on the endangered species list. (Hawksbill, Leather and Green).

Additionally, the removal of coral rubble and sea grasses for, "aesthetic" purposes, has resulted in the loss of important nursery habitats for fish and other marine organisms. Various industries are guilty of releasing their effluent directly into the near shore, which has a negative impact on marine ecosystems in the vicinity.

The primary sources of land based pollution are :

The primary sources of sea-based pollution of the marine environment.

Other relevant issues include the following:

Conflict Resolution: There are limited marine resources which have to be shared by a variety of users, each with their own agenda.

Public Beach Accesses: There is a concern that beach access is being threatened by residential encraochment.

Enforcement: Even though many of the coastal-related problems have been addresses in the Coastal Zone Management Act and the Marine Pollution Control Act, the primary problem lies in actually enforcing all the regulations that will be put in place.

Education and Outreach Programmes: There has to be consistency with these activities, so that there is a continuous out-flow of information to the public.

Unauthorized Development: This not only refers to illegal construction, but also activities such as sand mining and the placement of artificial reefs.

There are several projects which are have been set up, including:

Challenges  

The following are priority constraints to implementing effective programmes to address the issues raised in the programmes areas:

Legislation
The presence of inadequate and inappropriate legislation, as well as the absence of legislation altogether is a major hindrance to sustainable management.
Education
The lack of education of the public is a great deterrent to a sustainable way of life. Poor or little knowledge of the importance of coral reefs for example has resulted in many of the problems that plague this ecosystem, such as diver damage, harvesting of corals, anchor damage and solid waste disposal. With knowledge of the ways in which these and other ecosystems function and a concept of their true economic and social values, the attempt to protect and conserve them would be given an added impetus.
Enforcement/Monitoring Capability
In some cases, laws are presently related to the protection of marine ecosystems, but these are not enforced for a variety of reasons: public perception of the activity not being an important crime, judiciary perception of environmental issues as being "waste of time"; lack of enforcers; and the lack of equipment used to carry out enforcement, for example, boats. There is also a problem with the lack of education of the enforcers which was dealt with in Education.
Resources- Personnel and Finance
In many cases there are not sufficient people available to carry out assessments or they do not possess the necessary skills. Also, the required equipment is often absent.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Programmes to educate policy makers in the concept and policy design of sustainable coastal management and its aspects include:

Other training available for the responsible planners and for relevant industries to assist them in managing sustainable development in coastal zones includes:

Campaigns or other efforts to raise awareness of issues related to sustainable development and the oceans and seas include:

Coastal Zone Management Unit Initiatives
Open days
Exhibitions
Brochures
Lecture series
Panel Discussions
Interviews with the press
Television and radio talk shows
Government Information Service features
Environment Division
Environment Month Activities in 1998 focussed on the Year of the Oceans including exhibitions and lecture series.
Biodiversity awareness activities and brochures on preserving coral etc.
Fisheries Division
Awareness Seminars
Training sessions
Provision of brochures

Information   

National information available to assist both decision-makers and planners working in coastal areas are related to the following areas:

Sustainable management of fishery resources
Catch data
Landings by species
Marine pollution
Long term water quality monitoring (EEZ, CZMU)
Mineral resources
Inventory of sand / sources (Energy Division)
Living resources other than fish
Time series data on coral abundance and diversity, on sea grass , productivity and abundance.(CARICOM, CZMU, Bellairs).
Critical uncertainties (e.g., climate change, El Niņo, La Niņa, sea-level rise)
Sea surface temperatures
Illumination levels
Tide gauge data
Current meter data
IOC data
IOCARIBE data
Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IGPCC) data
Other:
Transhipment of nuclear waste
Regional management of migratory stocks

There is no surveillance system in place. Different agencies have GIS capabilities, but not for this purpose.

Different agencies have specific Web Sites. The CZMU as part of the CEPNET programme is producing a State Of The Coast report which will be hosted on their web page.

The Cabinet has established a National Commission on Sustainable Development with a Sub Group for Coastal and Marine Resources/issues and they have reviewed a number of proposed indicators. The Caribbean Development Bank environmental indicators have also been established. And the Ministry of the Environment is coordinating a National Indicators Programme which seeks to develop broad-based Sustainable Development Indicators including ones relevant to the issue of coastal and marine resources.

Research and Technologies  

There is no adequate technology, e.g oil spill treatment and dispersal of waste oil. However, specific technological advances means that the Government can improve internal capability eg GPS, LIDAR, GIS, OSCR

Determining factors for decision-making in the choice of technologies are the following:

Financing  

This sector is financed by the National Budget and international funding agencies, eg Global Environment Facility(GEF), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), United Nations (UN).

Cooperation  

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed in 1982 and ratified in 1993.

Barbados is a party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). It also participates in the following:

 

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This information is based on Barbados's submission to the 5th, 6th & 7th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997, 1998 & 1999. Last update:  January 1999

To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Coordinating and executing agency for the Management of Toxic Chemicals is the Environment Division, Ministry of Health and the Environment. The Environmentally Sound Management of Toxic Chemicals has received national priority since 1993. A Chemical Substances Technical Working Group (CSTWG) on the Management of Hazardous Substances was commissioned, comprising representatives from relevant agencies inclusive of the private sector, workers unions, academia and the public sector, under the aegis of the Environment Division.

Currently this body is addressing issues of legislation and safety guidelines to cover the importation, transportation, storage, use and disposal of toxic chemicals and their wastes. Legislation is to be enacted January 1998 at the earliest. Statistical baseline data is being collected on the importation and handling of toxic chemicals. The issue of an Emergency Response Protocol is also being addressed.

The Environment Division, with the assistance of the CSTWG, where relevant, considers and makes recommendations to the Government of Barbados regarding the country's position on international instruments being developed or revised. Currently a committee is addressing the internationally legally binding instruments for the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for certain Pesticides and Hazardous Chemicals in International Trade. Similar efforts address Protocols or Amendments to the Principles governing the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety.

Barbados needs to improve its capabilities in Cleaner Production for Industrial Chemicals and the manner in which the chemicals are processed at the port of entry.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

 

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This information is based on Barbados's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

A number of Government Agencies share responsibility for the management of Solid Waste and Sewage. These include the Sanitation Service Authority, the Ministry of Health and Environment, and the Barbados Water Authority. The Future Centre Trust is a non-governmental organization involved in looking at alterative ways to dispose of solid waste other than land fill e.g composting.

The Sanitation Service Authority is funded entirely by government subvention, while the Barbados Water Authority is a statutory corporation. The IADB has provided funding for the construction of new solid waste management facilities, as well as the West Coast and South Coast Sewage Projects. Through the South Coast and West Coast Sewage projects and the construction of the new Solid Waste Management facilities, there has been institutional strengthening and transfer of technologies.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

The main issues relating to waste management in Barbados are:

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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Sewage

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

The capital city Bridgetown has been sewered since 1981. The government has commenced construction work on the South Coast Sewerage Project which has an overall value of approximately US$93.1 million. It involves the collection of sewage from within a 12 km coastal strip extending about one-half km inland. The sewage will undergo primary treatment before being discharged to sea from a 1100m long outfall at a depth of 40m. Anticipated benefits from this project include:

The West Coast Sewerage Project is in the initial design phase to achieve the same benefits as the South Coast Sewerage Project. It will provide a sewerage system for a coastal strip which extends inland for approximately 300 m (0.3 km). a projected capital cost for the project is US$100 million.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

* * *

Solid Waste

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

Over the past four years, the Government has been executing an Integrated Solid Waste Management Programme. The total cost of the programme is US$65 million. Some of the anticipated outcomes of the programmes are:

  1. Improved solid waste collection and disposal including the construction of a sanitary landfill with a life span of 20 years;
  2. Institutional strengthening;
  3. Legislation and enforcement reform;
  4. Waste minimization;
  5. Public education;
  6. Pollution control.

So as to ensure the sound disposal of solid wastes, the Government has established a Sewerage and Solid Waste Project Unit with the specific mandate of guiding the development and implementation of a comprehensive waste management policy and plan for the country. This work includes the following components:

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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Hazardous Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Health and the Environment has responsibility for Hazardous Wastes Management and through the coordinated efforts of the Environment Division and Environmental Engineering Division issues regarding policy and management operations are dealt with respectively. At the local level awareness raising, and where possible, training of relevant agencies is undertaken under the inter-agency / inter-sectoral Chemical Technical Working Group in Hazardous Substances (CSTWG). The private sector unions have their concerns addressed within the CSTWG by having representation on this body.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

Data collection on hazardous waste produced in the island has only been recently done (late 1996) and therefore at present figures can only be considered as baseline data. The hazardous waste which is produced in Barbados is comprised of small quantities of several waste streams. This, coupled with constraints of space, have to be considered when addressing the most appropriate method of hazardous waste disposal. The Government is considering the establishment of a temporary storage facility for hazardous wastes prior to export for offshore treatment in accordance with the requirements of the Basel Convention to which Barbados is party. Canada has consented to receive hazardous waste for disposal.

In addition, work is ongoing on the development of new institutional and administrative structure for the management of hazardous waste inclusive of proposal and guidelines for importation, transportation, use, storage handling, and disposal of hazardous materials in Barbados. Also recommendations have been developed for legislation and regulations pertaining to these issues.

Challenges

There is the problem of illegal dumping and littering of wastes. Efforts are being undertaken to locate and clean up existing illegal dump sites. There has also been one incident of waste disposal into a natural water course which caused pollution and localized fish kills. The source of this pollution has subsequently been located and action taken to prevent future problems.

The lack of clear designation of roles and responsibilities of Government agencies is a major constraint for implementing sound waste management policies and programmes. Moreover it is a slow process to change the attitudes and actions of Barbadians. In additions recycling operations are faltering because of lack of sustainability.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

The technology needs for sound waste management include safe, sound and effective waste reductions options; Information systems - updated by industry and effective sampling and identification of hazardous waste streams (equipment lacking for laboratory)

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

Barbados is involved at the regional level in the development of measures to address the Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous Wastes as governed by the Basel Convention. There is a Programme of Action developed in October in 1996 which will seek to meet the needs in this area (e.g. training, technology transfer centre, regional mechanism for tracking and monitoring ships which contain hazardous wastes).

As identified in the Regional Programme of Action for the Environmentally Sound Management of Chemicals, Barbados will benefit from the establishment of the sub-regional Technology Transfer Centre at Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), Trinidad & Tobago. This will serve to build capacity of existing institutions and agencies in the different islands.

 

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For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

Radioactive Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

Barbados has no nuclear reactors and does not utilise large amounts of radioactive materials. The only sectors which do utilise minute quantities are health and research institutions in laboratories. The management of these quantities are under the Division of Health in the Ministry of Health and the Environment.

Of special mention however is having the concerns of Barbados and the region as a whole addressed as it relates to the transboundary movement of radioactive wastes from one developed country to another through the ecologically-sensitive Caribbean basin. The Government of Barbados has, since 1992, issued statements to the effect that these be halted and that the Caribbean Sea be declared a nuclear-free zone. It is noted that in the event of an accident which would result in release of the wastes that there is no capacity within the region to deal with the fall-out. CARICOM, which represents eleven (11) English-speaking nations of the region has issued a statement to the same in 1992 and renewed it in 1995. A compensatory and liability fund should be established in the event of such a catastrophe so that there will possibly be some measures which can be taken. The Government of Barbados will be pursuing along with CARICOM partners how this issue can best be addressed through a legal instrument

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed in 1994 and ratified in 1995. The latest information was provided to the Basel Convention Secretariat in 1996.

 

 

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This information is based on Barbados's submission to the 5th & 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997 & 1998. Last update: 10 June 1998


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